Archive for the ‘Starfox’ Category

Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

October 7, 2013

Avengers.JLA 4 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
December 2003
***

The crossover ends as it must: in an enormous brawl of punching & zapping. Still, the mag’s creative duo amazingly avoid even a whiff of the corporate avarice that must underpin this mini. The grand scope & casual confidence prove a good capstone to the super-teamwork dynamic that defines the Avengers run of Busiek & Pérez et al. Think of it as a victory lap AWA an impressive work of fan-service.

last issue: JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
New X-Men #148

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JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

October 6, 2013

Avengers.JLA 3 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
November 2003
****

JLA/Av retcons annual super-teamups btw Marvel & DC, a late-era Crisis (in DC terminology) complete w/ overlapping Earths. The art of mature Pérez is even better than in his ’80s Crisis. Busiek writes a tighter plot, tho it suffers from self-reference & (surprisingly for KB) a lack of central protag. For superhero lovers rather than casual readers, but those fanboys will be truly satisfied.

last issue: Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
next issue: Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Maximum Security #3 of 3

September 10, 2013

Maximum Security 3Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
January 2001
**

Superheroes stop an alien intelligence from turning Earth into an interstellar bio-electrical WMD. A confusing climax to a conventional crossover, whose potential rarely came into focus. Ordway’s flat art lends the feeling that Max Sec is a ’80s DC tale bloated by minor plots & lapsed characters.

continued from Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #2 of 3

also indexed for Jan. ’01
Avengers #36

Avengers #35

September 9, 2013

Avengers 35Kurt Busiek // John Romita, Jr.
December 2000
****

R. Stern’s offworld Avengers hope to reverse an intergalactic UN’s edict that’s made Earth a penal colony. Via info dump, the ish helpfully clarifies the plot twist that the Ruul are actually mutated Kree. And JR Jr., @ the height of his talent, provides the alien weirdness that space opera needs.

continued from Maximum Security #2 of 3
continued in Maximum Security #3 of 3
last issue: Avengers #34
next issue: Avengers #36

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Maximum Security #2 of 3

Maximum Security #2 of 3

September 8, 2013

Maximum Security 2Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
December 2000
**

The Reagan-era Captain America holds the line against criminal ET immigrants & uncovers a conspiracy by the great Kirby AI, the Kree Supreme Intelligence. A creative slant on alien invasion, tho’ a bit right-wing by design. Ordway echoes this conservativism, a throwback to dull early ’80s art.

continued in Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #1 of 3
next issue: Maximum Security #3 of 3

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Avengers #35

Avengers #4

July 17, 2013

Avengers 04Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
May 1998
****

The team’s charter members pick a line-up, a solipsistic scenario replayed often in the ’00s. Busiek, like Thomas & Stern before him, seems slightly awed by the title he’s writing. But his pleasure comes thru in his light touch, like Justice snagging a bank thief where the 40-member team failed.

last issue: Avengers #3
next issue: Avengers #5

also indexed for May ’98
Thunderbolts #14

Avengers #3

July 16, 2013

Avengers 03Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
April 1998
***

Cap & co play Robin Hood in a medieval alt reality; Scarlet Witch saves the day by resurrecting Wonder Man. It’s a simple story w/ a forthright tone, almost Silver Age except for Jorge’s complex depth-of-field & density of image. So, having relaunched the Avengers, B&G must cull the 39-man roster!

last issue: Avengers #2
next issue: Avengers #4

also indexed for Apr. ’98
Thunderbolts #13

Avengers #2

July 15, 2013

Avengers 02Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
March 1998
****

A sorceress has used the Scarlet Witch to refashion reality. The Ren Fair trappings may seem a bit much, but they suit Pérez to a T—esp. the chance to redesign costumes as armor. Busiek’s best idea, tho’, is that “true Avengers” can shake off the spell: a roster that incl. Justice but not Iron Man!

last issue: Avengers #1
next issue: Avengers #3

also indexed for Mar. ’98
Thunderbolts #12

Avengers #1

July 14, 2013

Avengers 01Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
February 1998
****

Pérez returns to Marvel’s supergroup superteam, tapping Busiek (hot off Marvels & Astro City in ’95 & last year’s T-bolts) to help w/ the relaunch. They’re well-matched: neither conservative nor radical, dense w/ info yet clear at storytelling. Echoing the Lee/Kirby original, a mage manipulates Earth’s superheroes into teaming up. This time, it’s an Arthurian, Morgan le Fey, using Asgardian magic.

next issue: Avengers #2

also indexed for Feb. ’98
Thunderbolts #11

Secret Wars II #5 of 9

February 18, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
November 1985
**
The Beyonder picks a fight w/ Kirby space-gods, a good concept wasted by dull fight choreography. The protag does have an emotional arc—unable to return to his home dimension, he’s now sulking w/ a mutant teen runaway—but his moods are impossible to follow if you don’t get every crossover issue.
[continued from The Avengers #261]
[continued in The Thing #30]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #4 of 9]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #6 of 9]

The Mighty Thor #351

March 18, 2011

Walt Simonson
January 1985
*****
In NYC, Bill leads gods, heroes, & US Marines in a grand battle v. fire demons; in Asgard, Surtur the Demon Lord shatters the rainbow bridge then bests Thor! Nearly every page features all-caps SFX (a Simonson hallmark), & note how panels shift from large to small depending on the moment. Epic!
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #350]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #352]

The Mighty Thor #350

March 17, 2011

Walt Simonson
December 1984
*****
This grand arc aspires to (& reaches!) a Tolkein-like tone, a/w/a the reckless momentum of old Lee/Kirby glories. The armies of Asgard are marshaled, w/ allies like Bill & the Avengers and foes like the Enchantress among them! They array themselves against the fire demons in a wintery NYC melee.
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #349]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #351]

The Fantastic Four Annual #19

February 13, 2011

John Byrne
December 1985
****
A two-chapter annual with an ebullient late Silver Age tone. It may be a little more like Thomas-era Avengers than Kirby-era FF, but that style is underscored by Joe Sinnott providing retro inking to Byrne’s art. Pt. 1 sees our heroes pop into space to foil a faction of Skrulls—after the Galactus Event, they’ve collapsed into civil war. Pt. 2 crosses into The Av‘s annual (rather confusingly).
[continued from The Fantastic Four #284]
[continued in The Avengers Annual #14]
[continued in The Fantastic Four #285]
[last issue:  The Fantastic Four Annual #18]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four Annual #20]

The Avengers #233

January 8, 2011

Roger Stern & John Byrne
July 1983
***
Stern invites his pal Byrne to a crossover. A nihilistic beastie threatens our universe & its mirror. As the FF work over in their mag, on this side, a rookie Cptn. Marvel stops an energy transfer via slingshot around the sun. Great pacing & high stakes but Sinnott’s inks cloud Byrne’s art.
[continued from The Fantastic Four #255]
[continued in The Fantastic Four #256]
[last issue: The Avengers #232]
[next issue: The Avengers #234]

Captain America #401

November 9, 2010

Mark Gruenwald // Rik Levins
June 1992
***
After the grim conclusion to the Avengers x-over, Cap wonders whether his moral rectitude is outmoded in ’90s comics. It’s a fine bit of self-reflection as Cap, Hawkeye & Iron Man go out for a beer. The subplot, in ironic counterpoint, slowly builds tension: Diamondback seems destined for torture.
[continued from The Avengers #347]
[last issue: Captain America #400]

The Avengers #347

November 8, 2010

Bob Harras // Steve Epting
May 1992
***
Part 19 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
A morally confused denouement to a well-done crossover. Initially, this ish is a sentimental paean to the brutality of war & civilian casualties. But the emotional affect unravels as the plot bends to convention. The heroes survive a galactic bomb blast w/o a scratch, then half the team slaughters the alien AI who plotted the genocide. Harras & DeFalco are simply naive w/r/t violence & war.
[continued from Wonder Man #9]
[continued in Captain America #401]
[last issue: The Avengers #346]
[next issue: The Avengers #348]

Wonder Man #9

November 7, 2010

Gerard Jones // Jeff Johnson
May 1992
***
Part 18 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
The crossover plot roars into a surprise turn (albeit foreshadowed): the Avengers arrive too late to defuse antimatter bomb! Jones continues to aim for substance, even if he stacks his deck in considering the ethics of genocide. And tho’ JJ gives good pacing, his art is a bit too ’90s for me.
[continued from Quasar #34]
[continued in The Avengers #347]
[last issue: Wonder Man #8]
[next issue: Wonder Man #10]

Avengers West Coast #82

November 5, 2010

Roy & Dann Thomas // Dave Ross
May 1992
**
Part 16 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
The Shi’ar half of this crossover has been weaker than the Kree half. It’s partly the writing but it’s also the lack of strong plot turns. Chapter 16 is just another battle royale btw. superteams till a stray shot unmasks a Skrull imposter among the aliens. It finally alters the epic’s momentum.
[continued from Captain America #400]
[continued in Quasar #34]
[last issue: Avengers West Coast #81]
[next issue: Avengers West Coast #83]

The Mighty Thor #446

November 3, 2010

Tom DeFalco // Pat Olliffe
April 1992
*
Part 14 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Thru & thru, “Galactic Storm” is a solid crossover—except for Thor. Where DeFalco the Editor requests byzantine intrigues that undermine the Avengers’ diplomacy, DeFalco the Writer offers a melee btw. superteams & gassy sentiments on honor. Olliffe undercuts the action w/ his loose curvy pencils.
[continued from Iron Man #279]
[continued in Captain America #400]
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #445]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #446]

Wonder Man #8

October 29, 2010

Gerard Jones // Jeff Johnson
April 1992
***
Part 11 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
In deep space, WM & Vision convince a crew not to smuggle a sci-fi superbomb into enemy territory. Jones means well, but his attempt to moralize on the calculus of war is clumsy: his argument for conscientious objection lacks conviction, even as soap operatics muddy & trivialize the conversation.
[continued from Quasar #33]
[continued in The Avengers #346]
[last issue: Wonder Man #7]
[next issue: Wonder Man #9]

The Mighty Thor #445

October 24, 2010

Tom DeFalco // Pat Olliffe
March 1992
*
Part 7 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Clumsy quips, hammy dialogue, & a focus on fisticuffs make this issue a low point in an otherwise solid space-opera crossover. Thor’s fight w/ a Shi’ar Superman lacks imagination. And the creators muffle key plot points—like the reveal that shape-shifting Skrulls are behind the Kree-Shi’ar War.
[continued from Iron Man #278]
[continued in Captain America #399]
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #444]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #446]

The Avengers #345

October 22, 2010

Bob Harras // Steve Epting
March 1992
**
Part 5 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
The Kree-Shi’ar War is destabilizing our sun by using our system as a hyperspace bypass. So every Avenger is mobilized for one front or another. Harras delivers the ham that good space opera needs, but as always, he fails to harmonize an ensemble of voices or bring authenticity to the action.
[continued from Wonder Man #7]
[continued in Iron Man #278]
[last issue: The Avengers #344]
[next issue: The Avengers #346]

Wonder Man #7

October 21, 2010

Gerard Jones // Jeff Johnson
March 1992
***
Part 4 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
A belligerent Kree soldier keeps swapping places w/ Rick Jones (Marvel’s official sidekick) by using an old set of alien power braces. But Wonder Man uses crack timing to subdue the villain. Tho’ it’s an issue in a big crossover, G. Jones keeps the  tone light & the focus on our irrascable hero.
[continued from Quasar #32]
[continued in The Avengers #345]
[last issue: Wonder Man #6]
[next issue: Wonder Man #8]

Quasar #32

October 20, 2010

Mark Gruenwald // Greg Capullo
March 1992
***
Part 3 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Despite a wonky bit of pacing, Gruenwald segues smoothly into the Kree-Shi’ar War while keeping the mag’s plots aboil. Q zips around the solar system investigating alien activity on behalf of the Avengers & finds a Kree soldier exhuming the tomb of 1960s Captain Marvel for his nega-bands.
[continued from Avengers West Coast #80]
[continued in Wonder Man #7]
[last issue: Quasar #31]
[next issue: Quasar #33]